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For Film To Work As A Business We Must Give More
By Ted Hope
Things could be better for the film biz. We can lift it up. We have the power.
How do we decide what is the best approach? What makes sense in terms of how we should work today?
For me, I start with the premise that everyone has less available time. We work more and more. We have more responsibilities and obligations. The less time we have, the more valuable that time becomes. We generally don’t commit our available time frivolously.
From there, I accept that there is increased competition for our time. Although we have less leisure time, we have more options on how to spend that time then ever before.
What does this access to everything mean for us? Generally speaking, the quality of our experiences improve with the increased input we get; that is, the more we consume, the better we are equipped to consider our next move. As we find “better” work to immerse ourselves in, the better work we do. When we have better advisors, our output benefits. As long as we don’t surround ourselves with the wrong people and things, things do get better.
How does our immersion in better things influence us? Overall we expect a better “ROIE”: Return On the Investment of our Engagement. We value time. We know there is plenty of good things to find. Our curiosity grows.
Luckily for us, those of us in the film business have a truly distinct product whose value has generally gone untapped. Business has taught us to look at film primarily for the revenue it can generate of course. The audience has been taught to value film based on how much entertainment it delivers. Yet, as any cinema lover knows, movies are much much more than that.
Movies create a shared emotional response amongst strangers. Good cinema compels us to discuss it afterwards. A movie can create empathy amongst folks who have only previously felt differences. How incredibly powerful is that? Can we unlock that attribute on a regular basis? Damn straight we can! The transformative power of cinema is its true utility; well, that and its consequent ability to build community around it.
If we highlight these aspects of film, we give the audience a better ROIE. Give more.
If we give the audience more, they in turn give us more. Isn’t that great?
Time to stop thinking of film as just an entertainment. Movies change people and they can change the world. Let’s celebrate this utility inherent in our art and business.